I have moved (again).
I’m now back in territory that’s a bit more familiar (Stroud Green), but a London borough I’ve never lived in before (Haringey).
For now I exist in a puzzling mix of the old and new. Whereas Tufnell Park Towers is but a Herculean stone’s throw away, I can still find myself wandering down previously unknown streets, and can almost feel my hippocampus churning away as it maps out my new surroundings, storing the location of certain shops, particularly striking bits of graffiti or interesting architecture as future reference points, occasionally seeming to ping like a microwave when it suddenly realises that a particular street eventually feeds into a road or park it already knows well. Sometimes I will find myself in a neighbourhood which I am sure I could never have visited before, only to find certain roads and front doors ignite dim memories of long forgotten houseparties, as I remember old university friends who used to live round this way when it was an alien and mysterious part of London to be travelled to and through under a horny and rowdy haze of alcohol.
I live on top of a hill, and whilst the lights of Canada Square and the Gherkin blink and gleam as I look in one direction, should I look out of the window in the other on a clear day I can see unbroken rolling green hills and fields north of London, which makes city life feel that little bit less relentless and claustrophobic.
Somehow I seem to have landed next to another mental lady neighbour. Whitfud – whose flat it is I am borrowing/sitting/blagging – diplomatically warns me she is insane and to be avoided at all costs. I had been a resident for but 2 hours when she first shouted at me. I am coming to the conclusion I’d rather neighbour ne’er-do-wells than interfering, opinionated, self-righteous, self-appointed do-gooders, but such is life.
I am currently telly-less, but aim to remedy this. In the meantime I have tried to fill the quiet evenings with sounds from the wireless, but am discovering that, should I venture away from the ever static and ever moving Long Wave reception, Haringey seems to be a hotspot for pirate radio stations (together, I read, with gun crime), which drown out any legitimate ones I might seek with my dial. In fact, the only one I can seem to find is Magic, which is hardly an improvement. I suppose I could text in and treat myself to a shout out.
5 weeks ago